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Target Field Ranked #7 in MLB in Craft Beer Offerings

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:53 PM
Great article in the Athletic:   https://theathletic....beer-offerings/   Even at #7, we're only 4th in our division.Tigers are...
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Article: Twins Acquire Jake Odorizzi From Rays For Jermai...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:43 PM
According to multiple reports, the Twins have acquired RHP Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for shortstop prospect Jerma...
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Astros, Bauer, Pohlad's, Twins, Future of MLB

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:43 PM
BIG title right? But I think MLB is sitting at a unique precipice right now, and we, as baseball fans, should be concerned about everythi...
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Astros Being Investigated for Using Tech to Steal Pitchin...

Other Baseball Today, 03:15 PM
I can no longer say I want the Twins to emulate the Astros. Bush league maneuver to use cameras in order to steal signs.
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Romero not in camp?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:46 PM
As a post note on the Hardy article, Do-Hyoung Park mentions that Fernando Romero is not in camp.   "He is stuck in the Dominic...
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Minnesota’s Game 3 Starting Pitching Options in the Playoffs

The Twins all but locked up a playoff spot over the weekend after sweeping a doubleheader from Cleveland on Saturday. Now fans can start looking ahead to the playoffs and wondering how the club will fare against some of the other top squads in the American League. With Michael Pineda’s recent suspension, there are plenty of questions about how the Twins will use their starting pitchers in the weeks ahead.

Beyond Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, who would start for the Twins in the ALDS Game 3?
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Gibson
W-L 13-7, 4.76 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 151 K, 50 BB, 155.0 IP
Minnesota used Kyle Gibson as a reliever on Sunday and things didn’t go exactly to plan. He entered the game after Fernando Romero had already put multiple runners on base and then Gibson surrendered a three-run home run. Only one of the earned runs was charged to Gibson, but the big hit came when he was pitching.

One of the bigger issues for Gibson are the health issues he has been battling for most of the season. In spring training, he was also diagnosed with E. coli that he contracted while doing mission work during the off-season. He entered camp around 200 pounds, which is down about 15 pounds from his desired weight. Recently, he returned from the 10-day IL after missing time because of ulcerative colitis.

Gibson struggles when batters get repeated looks at him in the same game, especially for the third time. His first time through the batting order he has held batters to a .248/.315/.376 (.691) slash line with a 63 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. His third time through the line-up results in batters hitting .333/.386/.558 (.944) with eight of his 22 homers allowed coming in this situation.

Martin Perez
W-L 10-7, 4.89 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 125 K, 64 BB, 152.2 IP
Perez didn’t even start the year in Minnesota’s rotation, but he was a breath of fresh air when he was added to the rotation in mid-April. From April 15-May 23, he looked like one of the best pitchers in the league as he posted a 2.17 ERA and held batters to a .644 OPS. His cut fastball was a revelation and it helped him to strike out 44 batters in eight games. He looked like a candidate for the All-Star Game and it certainly seemed like Minnesota had made something out of nothing.

In his 18 starts since May 23, Perez has not looked like the same pitcher. His cut fastball, that had been his bread and butter during his hot start, has not looked the same. He has allowed more than a hit per inning and he’s only managed 69 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings. With 16 home runs allowed, he has surrendered nearly a home run per appearance.

Right-handed batters have compiled an .817 OPS against him throughout the year. This isn’t good news for the Twins that will be facing the Yankees or the Astros in the ALDS and both clubs are very right-hand heavy. Only New York and Houston have higher OPS totals than Minnesota this year so there doesn’t seem like a scenario where Perez would be asked to see their line-up multiple times in the same game.

Bullpen Game
After Friday night’s botched rainout, the Twins were left no available starting pitchers for Saturday’s doubleheader. This left the team with a unique strategic situation and a full September roster of bullpen arms. In Game 1, the Twins were able to shut out the Indians behind three innings from Devin Smeltzer and more than one inning from Zack Littell, Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers.

During Game 2, Lewis Thorpe was the lone pitcher to surrender any runs as he struggled with command throughout his appearance. Cody Stashak and Trevor May joined the shutout crew from Game 1, but the most impressive appearance was from 21-year old Brusdar Graterol. Over two innings, he was regularly sitting in triple-digits with his fastball and this pitch had more movement than any of his other big-league appearances. Add in a strong slider and he looked lights out.

During last year’s playoffs, the Milwaukee Brewers used a bold strategy as they used Wade Miley as the starter and he only pitched to one batter. Manager Craig Counsell was hoping the Dodgers would load their line-up with left-handed hitters and then the Brewers quickly switched to a left-handed pitcher. Teams are likely more aware of this type of strategy, but it is something a team could try during October, especially one like the Twins with few starting pitching options.

What strategy do you think the Twins would use in Game 3 of the ALDS? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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42 Comments

Randy Dobnak started the year in High-A and he will more than likely start a playoff game. Never give up kids! 

We're missing the primary risk with regard to a true 'bullpen' approach to post-season starts: you don't have an unlimited roster in the post season. If one of your first two starters has a short start in a competitive game, you're going to stress your pen before you even get to the bullpen game (or games). I'm guessing a 3-starter rotation given the off days, with Gibson (depending on strength/health) or Dobnak...I'm guess the Twins would rather stay away from deploying a left-handed starter against the Yankees or Astros.

    • justinone and woolywoolhouse like this

I'll go with Smeltzer/Dobnak/Graterol combo. 

 

 

I like the idea of matching up them against the other teams ace and then hoping Berrios/Odorizzi match up solidly with a teams #2/#3.I feel like that puts you hopefully at an advantage or even in 2/3's of the games rather than a disadvantage for 3.Although, against the Astros--that might not really matter.

 

 

 

We're missing the primary risk with regard to a true 'bullpen' approach to post-season starts: you don't have an unlimited roster in the post season. If one of your first two starters has a short start in a competitive game, you're going to stress your pen before you even get to the bullpen game (or games). I'm guessing a 3-starter rotation given the off days, with Gibson (depending on strength/health) or Dobnak...I'm guess the Twins would rather stay away from deploying a left-handed starter against the Yankees or Astros.

Of course there is risk but there is also reward. Of course Odor or Berrios could have short starts. There is probably a higher risk that Perez and Gibson pitch 3 innings and we are behind 5-0.You don't have unlimited roster but instead of the 5 starter 7 reliever combo that you have during the regular season you would have a 2 starter 10 reliever combo with the 2 starters being your best two starters.You also have two days off in a 5 game series. We have a lot of relievers, and I mean a lot,that are more capable of pitching 2-3 quality innings than Perez or Gibson so it would be kind of silly to tryto get 5 or 6 quality innings out of those two. Its just a matter of turning quantity of good relievers vs mediocre starters to our advantage.

I'm not putting a lot of stock on the poor bullpen outing for Gibson. He isn't used to preparing that way and he had pitched a few days before that.

I do, however, put a lot if stock in what he does his next time or two out. I lean to him to be a starter with a short leash based on being RH and a veteran.

Seems to me Perez is better as an extra pen arm, even if he looks good his next time or two out. And except for a really bad clunker, he's looked much better as of late.

I'm starting to like Dobnak, but would he be better as a 4th SP option? Not really using only 3 SP are we?
    • brvama likes this

 

Y'know, I sometimes wonder why you would start your best pitcher against their best pitcher. Maybe start worst against best (or best against worst) and hope for a miracle. The Twins could also pull a first...a bullpen Playoff game!

 

Again, who would be the guys you would keep. Would you keep Perez or Gibson. Can Perez be a bullpen guy? Do you want any of Smeltzer, Stashak or Graterol or Drobnak? 

 

Is Ryne Harper your secret weapom?

 

Could you put Hildenberger in the opposition uniform and have him sneak out on the mound?

I've wondered this too. Against Houston, it probably doesn't matter as they have 3 aces. But against the Yankees, do you throw Smeltzer out there in game 1, hope for a miracle and know that you now have the advantage in games 2 and 3?

 

This almost worked unintentionally for the Twins in 2009 as they had to start Duensing in game 1 due to game 163. Unfortunately, Nathan blew the save in game 2 and Phil Cuzzi game through for the Yankees in the 10th.

    • woolywoolhouse likes this

 

I'm inclined to say neither and let Dobnak get that third start. Yeah i know it's extremely risky but Gibson is an automatic loss at this point and Perez is not much better. Losing Pineda really REALLY stings.

Agree on all points...Dobnak might be just naïve/young enough to not get caught up in the moment...I think Gibby would be over pumped and try to over pitch what he is capable of...I would have trust in Perez out of the pen in some leftie/leftie high leverage spots.Not sure I would pencil him in as my game 3 starter?

 

I'd go with Dobnak... Dude is so cool, so poised, and along with that, he's got a really good sinker, and he's right handed. I think you'd want to have a Smeltzer or Thorpe at the ready, someone who can each 3-5 innings, if necessary. 

'

He also has a nice mustache I see you absentmindedly left out.

    • Seth Stohs and JW24 like this

 

I've wondered this too. Against Houston, it probably doesn't matter as they have 3 aces. But against the Yankees, do you throw Smeltzer out there in game 1, hope for a miracle and know that you now have the advantage in games 2 and 3?

 

This almost worked unintentionally for the Twins in 2009 as they had to start Duensing in game 1 due to game 163. Unfortunately, Nathan blew the save in game 2 and Phil Cuzzi game through for the Yankees in the 10th.

'

 

The only problem here is by not starting Berrios/Odo in Game 1, then they neither have a chance to pitch in Game 5 if it comes down to it.

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Battle ur tail off
Sep 17 2019 12:23 PM

Both Gibson and Perez are recipes for disaster in the playoffs. 2 patient lineups you'd be facing, the walks will pile up and you'll be in a huge hole early. I'd leave them both off the playoff roster and also tell them I'm done with them for good unless they are willing to take short term prove it deals. Walking guys and giving up HRs are what these 2 are good for. They will be murdered by either Houston or the Yankees. That or tell them there is 1 spot for the 2 of you, someone win it before the season is over and start whichever one you pick with a very short leash.

 

That said, I don't really like the idea of beating up your bullpen in games you figure you have less than a 50% chance of winning anyway. 

 

You know that Ordorizi is likely gonna give you 4-5 innings in each of his starts, that will tax the bullpen. Berrios could go either way. Get knocked out in 2 innings or pitch deep into it. Lets hope its the latter. 

 

 

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yarnivek1972
Sep 17 2019 02:43 PM

Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.


Too bad the Twins have neither Spahn or Sain.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Too bad the Twins have neither Spahn or Sain.

Attached Image: sick_burn_bro.gif

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Both Gibson and Perez are recipes for disaster in the playoffs. 2 patient lineups you'd be facing, the walks will pile up and you'll be in a huge hole early. I'd leave them both off the playoff roster and also tell them I'm done with them for good unless they are willing to take short term prove it deals. Walking guys and giving up HRs are what these 2 are good for. They will be murdered by either Houston or the Yankees. That or tell them there is 1 spot for the 2 of you, someone win it before the season is over and start whichever one you pick with a very short leash.
 
That said, I don't really like the idea of beating up your bullpen in games you figure you have less than a 50% chance of winning anyway. 
 
You know that Ordorizi is likely gonna give you 4-5 innings in each of his starts, that will tax the bullpen. Berrios could go either way. Get knocked out in 2 innings or pitch deep into it. Lets hope its the latter.


Not to be debby downer but against the Stros, does anyone honestly believe it's going to matter who the Twins start against Verlander, Cole, Miley and Greinke? I mean Berrios might go 5 or 6 innings, Odorizzi maybe 4 innings tops. The are gonna have to lean heavily on the bullpen anyways if they have any shot at all. Might as well go all in and gamble on Smeltzer, Dobnak, Graterol, Alcala, et. Forget about Gibson and Perez.
    • Battle ur tail off likes this
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jorgenswest
Sep 17 2019 06:09 PM
Every playoff game is a bullpen game.

I would pitch Berrios game 1 and 5. I would pitch Odorozzi game 3.

Games 2 and 4 depend on who looks healthy and is throwing well over the next two weeks.
    • PseudoSABR and Battle ur tail off like this
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In My La-Z-boy
Sep 18 2019 08:33 AM

I'd start Duffy in game 3. He's our best pitcher right now.

I'll be shocked if Perez doesnt start a game 3. I'd have said Gibson, but I just dont think he's healthy enough to make the postseason roster. Couple starts potentially left in the regular season for Gibson, if he does well, it'll be him.

I'd be very surprised by anything else than one of these two.

Berrios, Odorizzi and Bull-Penning would be my recommendation. 

 


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